LOVE HAS NOT BEEN FAIR TO ME — BLAISE, HIP-HOP ARTIST
Funke Martin-Lurther popularly known as Blaise who hails from Isheri Olofin Local Council Development Area of Lagos State. She started her musical career with Sasha, Kemistry, Bouqui and Freestyle with her remarkable rap style of music which has featured in hit songs with these notable artistes. This dynamic lady who is the only daughter out of four siblings, lost her lovely father at the tender age of eight. She is a graduate of Architecture from The Polytechnic, Ibadan. In this interview with Saturday Sun , Funke spoke about her career, how her mother gave them the best out of life and lauded her step-father, Senator Brimmo Yusuf for the love he has shown them.
How did you come about the name Blaise?
I got the name from a comic book, a character called Modesty Blaise.
What was your growing up experience?
I grew up in Ibadan where I had my secondary and tertiary education before moving to Lagos and London.
Growing up wasn't bad because my mother is a very strong and supportive woman. She did her best to bring us up even after my father died. After my father's death, she got married to my step-father who is like a father to me. I appreciate him for all the fatherly love he showed. He has never discriminated among his children. He built the family in love which has been sustaining us. I'm always proud of him.
What is the greatest thing your mother has ever taught you?
My mother taught me to always work hard no matter the challenges because the key to success is hard work.
Who is your greatest influence?
My mother is my greatest influence in life. She is the largest personality in my life. She gave me every reason to be a successful lady. My grandmother is also one of my influences in life. My stepfather too, has given me every reason to live. I wouldn't have been enable to get to the level I am today if not for his immense support.
How did you venture into the music industry?
I have always loved music as a child, which, I looked forward to in the future. I didn't know it would eventually be my profession after graduating from the polytechnic as an Architect. But my love for music drew me closer to it. I'm a poet, songwriter and I also play guitar. I would say music is my destiny. I was introduced to Eden d Don of Tribesmen. She gave me the opportunity to showcase my talent on a song we sang with Sasha, kemistry and Bouqui entitled, Too Much. I also sang Braggi with Freestyle.
What Inspires you?
Music is a natural gift from God, but what actually inspired me to go into it professionally is my feelings about entertainment. It makes me fulfilled though I never anticipated the challenges trying to be relevant as an artiste. No matter the challenges, it wouldn't stop me from achieving my goals as a renowned female hip hop artiste in Nigeria and beyond the shores of our country.
Why did you choose music instead of Architecture?
Music is a stronger force than what I studied in school, so I had to follow my heart to achieve the best in life. As a Christian, I always try to pay attention to the voice of God. I got encouraged to venture into music because of the way people were acknowledging the gift of music in my life. It was very clear to me that music is a gift from God, so I decided to venture into it professionally.
Tell us about your new album
It is actually my first album with three singles. It is a 10-track album. I thank God for the Chief Executive Officer of Create Entertainment, Nomoreloss, who signed me on last year as their artiste. I appreciate my management team so much for being able to identify every music gift in me because a lot of people know me as a rapper but they don't know that I'm a songwriter and a music producer. So, my management has been able to guide me on my songs. We came out with a fresh project with quality and inspiring songs which are the basic criteria of a management outfit discovering of talents.
What is the title of your album?
My album is entitled, Love and Power. I produced the 3rd track entitled, Stay in the album but I wrote all the music.
What is your kind of music?
Hip hop and fusion. Though I love reggae and all kinds of music especially African music as a producer, but I love creating fusion.
Which artistes have you collaborated with?
I have collaborated with quite a few artistes like Kefee, Sasha and Nike Laoye before releasing my first album. It really took me time to work on my album because I wanted the best of Blaise not just an album. I wanted something my listeners will appreciate as well stand out as an artiste in Nigerian music industry.
What are the challenges you face?
It's quite challenging in Nigeria to earn a living in music and it's a very long process. But you can't share music between other jobs because you have to be dedicated and you can't do without finance. If you love what you do, it needs adequate time to actualize your dream as well as make you a success. Music in Nigeria is a huge challenge because of inadequate infrastructure. It is very capital intensive because you need money to shoot quality videos, recordings, and promotions. So, lack of structure and financial demand are the major challenges.
Why did you title your first single stay?
Stay is a very expressive track in my album and my first song ever as a singer. It is a song that showcase Blaise as a hip hop artiste because so many people know me as a rap singer and people have a different conception about me. So, I had to let people know that as a rap artiste I can still sing hip hop.
Have you ever fallen in love?
Yes. If I don't have experience about love, then it's worthless preaching love, though love has never been fair to me.
How has love treated you?
We can all tell our stories about how love treated us because every mature lady has something to say about love. Stay is a song that expresses love, but it's a song that goes beyond heartbreak. It is actually appealing to lovers to stay in love forever.
What is the message in the song?
Basically, I'm talking to the men to change from their love attitude. It wouldn't take anything away from them if they love a woman with a genuinely and make it a lasting love instead of telling lies, cheating in order to move out of the relationship. If you don't love a woman, why pretend? Just be real in love with a woman. They should avoid breaking a woman's heart, but rather in pamper and reciprocatie all the love she gives to them.
What does love mean to you?
Love is life and power that's why I titled my album, Love and Power because you can't separate love and power. It is simultaneous though most people don't understand the significance of love. I believe in love so much. Those who are close to me knows that I'm a very lovable person not just in a romantic sense but generally having agape love for one another and most importantly loving God. If you love others like you love yourself, you will live longer than your age on earth, but once your love reduces, you are less human. So, love is life.
Have you suffered heartbreak? If yes, how did you handle it?
I have suffered heartbreak. It was a very painful experience that I wouldn't wish to talk about because it makes me feel terribly bad about falling in love. Though it is never a criterion for anyone not to fall in love again. No matter what you have experienced, you can still find a lasting love again. When I was heartbroken, I kept away from dating any man since love failed me. What is love when you can't trust someone? In fact, I was disappointed. The best way I felt to heal my broken heart was to isolate myself from men, but later I realized that I still need love. So, I prayed for a lasting one and believing God it would stay forever. Against all odds, love is valid and very necessary in life.
Most ladies have fallen out of love because of heartbreak. What is your view?
Yes. I felt the same way as a victim of love because I stopped dating. Even listening to a male compliment was disgusting because I felt they are cheats, so I kept away from their lies in order to mend my broken heart. Of course, some ladies are scared to go into relationships because of the terrible experience they had encountered in their previous relationships because. They have lost hope in love. No matter how you want to keep away from relationships regarding the bad experience you had, you will definitely fall into it by either courtship or marriage because that's what makes us mature. So, we should learn to love ourselves and get busy to help us tolerate our men and then ask God to give us lasting love.
Are you in love?
I believe in love and I need love in my life. So, I have love in my life because every woman needs love in her life. Though I'm not married, I'm in a relationship which I don't wish to talk about.
What is the secret of your good look?
I try to stay positive, happy and I try everything possible to avoid stress no matter who is involved. I don't allow anybody to give me stress. Once I discover you are a stressful person, I stay away from you. In fact, I don't allow stress in my life though I'm a very hard working woman.
What is your beauty routine?
I take a shower every morning and night. I do normal make-up, very light, because I'm a simple person. I portray it on my person. Though I don't have anything against make-up, I don't wear it always, only when I'm going out for a special event.
I also drink plenty of water and make myself happy always despite all the stress in Nigeria.
Who is your kind of man?
I admire a dark skinned, intelligent, loving, caring man. Above all, he must have the fear of God and with a good heart.
Who is your role model?
My closest role models are late but I still respect them till tomorrow. They are Fela, Bob Marley and Tupac.
What is your assessment of Nigerian Music Industry?
The industry has grown massively. I'm always pleased any time I watch our artistes displaying their talents. Even the young once in the industry being given the chance to showcase their talents on reality shows is quit a welcome development.